Chappie will be the third feature film from acclaimed writer/director Neill Blomkamp. It will follow the lackluster Elysium and the fantastic society analysing District 9.
A lot of movie commentators are not that excited about this film having been left dissatisfied by Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium but I couldn’t be more opposing. Whilst I was also left underwhelmed by Elysium I still have fond memories of District 9 and the amazing potential Blomkamp possesses. It is no surprise that the likes of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson were looking at Blomkamp, even before District 9, to direct a potential Halo feature. Sadly for Halo fans that never materialised.
Another reason I remain excited about this feature is the writing partnership of Blomkamp and Tatchell. The major difference between Elysium and District 9 was the omission of Terri Tatchel. She was nominated, alongside Blomkamp, for their District 9 screenplay but was absent from Elysium bar a ‘Thank You’ in the credits. I believe, mind that I am basing this on one feature, Tatchell is the perfect make weight for Blomkamp’s obvious social commentary. She seems to bring him back to reality whilst providing a second set of eyes to round off the feature and keep it solid and coherent – two things Elysium was lacking.
From behind the scene to on screen, there are plenty more facets to be curious about. We have the ever consistent and dependable Hugh Jackman as the supposed antagonist of the feature. Jackman rarely plays the villain so this will be a fresh and exciting look at Jackman’s talents.
We also have Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire and Skins fame. Whilst he has turned in some terrible performances after Slumdog, mainly in The Last Airbender, he is still very young and full of potential. Millionaire and Skins showed that he has a knack for the profession and under Blomkamp and a good script he could surprise and star in Hollywood once more.
We also have Blomkamp regular and native South African Sharlto Copley as Chappie’s voice and presumably motion capture. Copley is a guaranteed success as he manages to give solid and great performances in albeit under average films. He was, for instance, the stand out actor on The A-Team reboot and Elysium.
The added bonus of Hollywood royalty in the form of Sigourney Weaver is a big boost to the level of talent and sophistication in the cast. She did not feature in the trailer so we don’t know what role or what accent she will be attempting but she’s bound to be as good as always.
The only hesitation I have with the cast is that of Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser. Ninja and Visser are South African musicians that will be playing versions of themselves in the movie and will be doing so because Blomkamp has a thing for artists. He has been clear on numerous occasions claiming that rapper Eminem was his first choice for lead role in Elysium before he referred the role to actor Matt Damon. Eminem may well have been great but surely an actor is a surer and better alternative? Perhaps the same should have been done here. I preface this by stating I have never heard of nor seen any material from Visser or Ninja, so I don’t know if they have any acting talent at all. I just hope they don’t stick out like a sore thumb in the feature due to insubstantial ability to hold the screen.
All in all my positivity towards this film outweighs my anxiety. The cast is interesting. The Oscar nominated writing team is back. The concept and story is fascinating. This could very well be Blomkamp’s redemption and that is why I’m excited.